What in the world is Pakiyaya?

I originally penned this last year on my Facebook page. It has since wandered over to the old WordPress blog, and finally has settled here on the website blog - here it is:

In 2004 I reached quite the professional milestone in my life: after almost 20 years of making money on the side as a musician, I left corporate America at the end of November of 2004 and officially began making a living solely at music.

Six years after that, in October of 2010, I made it more official by starting my own business and calling it Pakiyaya Productions. The name always elicits curiosity, so I thought I’d share the story…here it is.

The story of Pakiyaya:

A few years ago, my best friend, Lisa, and her daughter, Grace, were in town. Grace was four years old at the time and she was very cute, as only four year olds can be. We met up at Wild Eggs to catch up, and after our brunch, as we were walking out to our cars, I commented on Grace’s stuffed animal. I said, “What a cute bear you have! What’s his name?”

And without hesitation, she replied, “Pakiyaya.”

I chuckled right away, partly because it was adorable, but mostly because of her on-the-spot creativity of such a smile-inducing word. I asked her: “what language is that?”

And without missing a beat, the kid says, “Nuku!” Which again made me laugh.

The entire exchange was delightful, and the more I said the word out loud, the more I came to the conclusion that it was just a happy ol’ word, and Lisa and I had a short conversation during which I asked her if I could use it as a name for the business that I wanted to start. She of course said yes, because she’s my friend and she loves me.

So upon returning home, I immediately went to the Internet to do a search on the word, making sure no one else had a company named “Pakiyaya.”

I was reasonably certain I wouldn’t find anything.

I was wrong.

The Google search actually came upon an anthropology dissertation about a tribe in eastern Mexico. The dissertation goes into great detail about the tribe’s oral language, and the reason the word pakiyaya was a Google hit was because it was an actual word, and in their language, this word means…

Wait for it…


Yes! So naturally I took it as a sign, and now the Pakiyaya story is finally told.

The End